Lewis Hamilton has dominated the Singapore Grand Prix after both Ferraris were eliminated at the start of the race. Daniel Ricciardo ran virtually the entire race in second place and rightfully finished there, ahead of Valtteri Bottas. Carlos Sainz finished a brilliant fourth for Toro Rosso.
Rain 15 minutes ahead of the start promised a spectable, and the start immediately did not disappoint.
As the lights went out, 4th placed Raikkonen made an impressive getaway and went left past Verstappen. The latter was however pushed left as Vettel opted to defend his first place, resulting in him bumping Raikkonen right rear wheel. The Finn subsequently lost control of his car and his Vettel.
Vettel didn't appear to have any damage and continued in the lead, but Raikkonen and Verstappen went straight onto the first left hander, and thereby took Fernando Alonso off track as well. The Spaniard similarly had a great getaway and passed several cars on the right hand side of the circuit, only to be launched into the air by Verstappen's sliding car. Alonso spun, but got underway again and rejoined the race in 12th position. Images revealed later however that Alonso's McLaren had incurred considerable damage on the sidepod and floor on the left side of his car.
Meanwhile, as Vettel powered out of Turn 3, he lost control of his car and went into the barriers as well. He couldn't blame anyone else but himself. He made it back to the pits, but damage to the left hand sidepod was too severe for him to continue the race.
All this resulted in a safety car behind which Hamilton was leading, ahead of Ricciardo, Hulkenberg, Perez, Bottas, Palmer, Vandoorne, Ocon, Sainz, Magnusen, Kvyat, Alonso, Stroll, Massa, Grosjean, Ericsson and Wehrlein.
On lap 5, the racing was on again, with Hamilton, Ricciardo and Bottas on intermediates while the others from the top 8 used full wets.
By lap 7, Hamilton had a 4s advantage over Ricciardo, who himself had even more on Hulkenberg. Alonso meanwhile deliberately allowed both Williams get past him on the pit straight while being told his team had lost telemetry data from his car. Another two laps later, the Spaniard retired after reporting some parts of his car had switched off, resulting in no more power.
By that time, it was also evident that the intermediates had an advantage over the full wet tyres.
On track, Sainz made the first true passing move as he got by Ocon, mostly thanks to using intermediates vs Ocon's full wets. Kvyat did the same as he passed Magnussen two laps later, before ending up head on in the barriers 4 corners later.
This triggered yet another safety car, annulling the advantage Hamilton and Ricciardo had build up against Hulkenberg.
Following some pitstops, the race resumed on lap 15, with Hamiton leading Ricciardo, Bottas, Sainz, Hulkenberg, Perez, Palmer, Stroll, Vandoorne and Massa. Basically all runners switched to intermediates, except for Massa and Wehrlein as both opted not to stop during the SC. Ricciardo interestingly also stopped to exchange his 14 lap old intermediates for new ones. Other intermediate runners simply kept on going.
Massa soon paid the price for continuing on full wets, as 2 laps later he got passed by Magnussen and Ocon through the same corner. The Brazilian pitted for intermediates on lap 18, a moment when rain had completely stopped.
Laptimes continued to improve as the race progressed, with Hamilton down to 2:01, compared to 2:05 on the first few laps.
For Williams, things went from bad to worse, as Stroll outbraked himself and saw Vandoorne take his 8th position. The Canadian continued without damage in 9th while his team mate continued to lap last until passing Wehrlein as the latter still continued on full wets.
Wehrlein eventually pitted on lap 21, taking on intermediate tyres and rejoining the race 40 seconds down on Massa.
After one hour of running, and 25 laps completed, Hamilton had 5.5 seconds in hand over Ricciardo. Bottas followed a further 11s down while Sainz in fourth 9 additional seconds. Behind the Spaniard, gaps were a bit smaller, with Hulkenberg, Perez and Palmer all about 2.5 seconds away from each other. Vandoorne was up next at 5s.
At that time, Magnussen was the first to risk slicks. He pitted for ultrasofts, and was followed that same lap by Massa at Williams.
On lap 27, Sainz and Vandoorne pitted. Sainz for super softs and Vandoorne in a very sluggish pitstop to ultra soft. The change came exactly when Magnussen set the fastest lap on slicks. Another lap later, Ricciardo, Bottas, Hulkenberg and Perez pitted.
The stops and switch to slicks saw Sainz struggle to keep up the pace, with Hulkenberg rapidly leaving the Spaniard behind. Sainz was subsequently left to fend off Perez.
On lap 37, Ericsson shuffled the cards again as he hit the barrier and brought out a safety car, much to the frustration of Lewis Hamilton who saw his lead of 10s disappear yet again. Hulkenberg was surprisingly pitted, dropping down to 10.
After 3 laps of safety car queuing, the race was restarted with 26 minutes left on the clock.
Despite Hamilton's frustration about the safety car, he launched off and took 4 seconds in the first two laps.
12 minutes from the end, Hulkenberg pitted to retire from the race with a car issue, while another lap later, Magnussen was told to do the same.
As time ran out, Hamilton had just begun lap 56, meaning lap 57 would be the last one. He completed that one safely ahead of Ricciardo to take the win, and gain 25 points on Vettel in the championship's standings. Valtteri Bottas completed the podium while Carlos Sainz finished a brilliant fourth for Toro Rosso.
|1||44||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes AMG||58||2:03:23.544||0|
|2||3||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull Racing TAG Heuer||58||+4.507s||0|
|3||77||Valtteri Bottas||Mercedes AMG||58||+8.800s||0|
|4||55||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso||58||+22.822s||0|
|5||11||Sergio Perez||Force India Mercedes||58||+25.359s||0|
|7||2||Stoffel Vandoorne||McLaren Honda||58||+30.388s||0|
|8||18||Lance Stroll||Williams Mercedes||58||+41.696s||0|
|9||8||Romain Grosjean||Haas Ferrari||58||+43.282s||0|
|10||31||Esteban Ocon||Force India Mercedes||58||+44.795s||0|
|11||19||Felipe Massa||Williams Mercedes||58||+46.536s||0|
|12||94||Pascal Wehrlein||Sauber Ferrari||56||+2 laps||0|
|NC||20||Kevin Magnussen||Haas Ferrari||50||DNF||0|
|NC||9||Marcus Ericsson||Sauber Ferrari||35||DNF||0|
|NC||26||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso||10||DNF||0|
|NC||14||Fernando Alonso||McLaren Honda||8||DNF||0|
|NC||33||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Racing TAG Heuer||0||DNF||0|